US urges restraint amid reports of renewed fighting in Central Equatoria

Photo |US Embassy in the Republic of South Sudan.

Nov 28, 2020 (Thessherald)–The United States Embassy in South Sudan has expressed deep concern over reports of fighting between SPLM/A-IO forces and troops loyal to a pro-government militia commander, General Moses Lokujo, at the Moroto Training Center.

“The U.S. Embassy in Juba is deeply concerned by reports of renewed fighting in and around the Moroto training center in southern Central Equatoria, which has impacted trainees for the unified forces and civilians,” the American Embassy stressed in a press release seen by Thessherald.

The US called upon relevant authorities and the Joint Defense Board to de-escalate the ongoing military confrontations in the Equatoria region by identifying those elements responsible for attacking opposition trainees at the training centers.

“We call for an immediate end to the fighting, and urge the parties to the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS), led by the Joint Defense Board, to resolve tensions in the area and restrain forces for whom they are responsible.”

The Embassy pressed the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM), an independent body responsible for overseeing compliance with the Cessation of Hostilities, to expedite its investigation into the incident.

“We understand the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM) is urgently seeking to conduct an investigation; we call on all parties to fulfill their responsibilities to enable access by CTSAMVM. Furthermore, we urge CTSAMVM to complete its investigation as quickly as possible.”

“We see no reason for defections at a time when parties have committed themselves to working together to implement the peace agreement, including the establishment of a unified force. The continued defections and the fighting that has ensued underscore the urgency of peace agreement implementation — including the need for progress on security arrangements and state and local power sharing.”

“We call upon the leaders of South Sudan to work together to build trust, address challenges, and bridge differences. The people of South Sudan deserve nothing less.”

On Thursday, the SPLA-IO accused defected forces headed by a militia commander, General Moses Lokujo, of carrying out an attack on Protection force in Morota Training Center, leaving one soldier dead.

“This morning the 26/11/2020, at about 6:00am, the defected force of Maj. Gen. Moses Lokujo who is now under the command and control of the SSPDF attacked the SPLA-IO component of Protection force for Morota Unified Training Centre, in complete violation of the permanent ceasefire,” said Lam Paul Gabriel, SPLA-IO’s Deputy Military Spokesperson.

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